Thursday, April 26, 2012
Mayor Francis G. Slay, Police Chief Dan Isom and Public Safety Director Eddie Roth invite you to an important crime reduction meeting on Thursday, April 26, 1:30 p.m. at Police Headquarters -- in the large board room on the 6th Floor. Students from the school of architecture at Washington University's Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Design will present recommendations from their groundbreaking Design Out Crime (DOC) initiative organized by Washington University, the Office of the Mayor, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and UM-St. Louis Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The effort has been led by Andrew Faulkner, an instructor at the Sam Fox school and member of the Mayor's Vanguard Cabinet, John McLaughlin and his officers in the Problem Properties Unit of the SLMPD, and Mike Deckard, a doctoral student at UM-St. Louis in Criminology. The initiative's object is to employ promising and practical design and place-making strategies to reduce crime, reduce perceptions of crime, improve connectivity, and improve the physical environment in public spaces. Andrew, who is an architect, dedicated his spring semester course on "Community Dynamics" to this subject. His 12 students broke into three groups: One group evaluated and made recommendations on reducing theft and promoting safety in retail space (focusing on a Family Dollar store and a gas station). Another looked at how design could promote people's sense of well being and reduce risks of crimes of opportunity in large multi-family apartment complexes (focusing on the Highlands Apartments off of Oakland Ave and a large complex in south city). A third looked at parking facilities and how design could reduce risks of loitering and car cloutings (focusing on the Mansion House garage and the surface lot next to New Life Evangelistic Center on Locust Street.) Mike Deckard, from UMSL, lectured the class on fundamentals of criminology, helped develop the statistical profiles that led to the selection of the sites, and provided other guidance through the process. The students also worked directly with the property owners and consulted with the Building Division in the Department of Public Safety and the problem property unit of the City Counselor's Office. Come listen to the students and police officers as they discuss their design recommendations for promoting the perception of safety and reducing risk of criminal activities -- ideas that are specific to the sites that were studied but that have broader applicability to places and properties throughout the city.